Frankie Edgar doesn’t spend much time reflecting on everything he has accomplished in his career. But it’s almost impossible for him to avoid these topics now that he plans to retire after UFC 281.
A 29-fight UFC veteran with 17 years of experience under his belt, the New Jersey native has competed in three different weight classes, fought for titles in two different divisions, became a lightweight champion and has remained consistent in the rankings throughout his time. his wonderful career.
While it’s hard to describe all of his accomplishments by narrowing down the list to one favorite moment, the 41-year-old fighter admits that there is one accomplishment that will always stand out from the rest.
“Here’s a feather in a hat,” Edgar said of winning the UFC lightweight title at Fighter vs Writer. “Winning a title has been my goal ever since I started playing the sport. When I was a wrestler, I wanted to win the state title and then the national title. I have always been second. Missed the All-American in triple overtime and finally reached his goal.
“It was just an amazing feeling, I will never forget it. One of the best events that happened to me in my sports career.”
Edgar’s incredible run to become UFC champion saw him arguably become one of the greatest lightweights ever after he defeated B.J. Penn. He then had to do it again five months later and Edgar stamped his title by dominating Penn even more in a rematch.
Both wins over Penn were memorable, but Edgar said these weren’t the kind of fights that usually come up when fans want to talk about his career. Instead, Edgarit fought a couple of back-to-back fights in which he showed a level of resilience and determination that may never be seen again in the octagon.
“Definitely [Gray] Maynard is fighting,” said Edgar. “Always comes first. Whether it’s on Twitter or just out of the house. They are sure to be talked about. I got shellac at the beginning of both fights. They were definitely the most talked about.”
By all accounts, Edgar probably should have died at the start of both fights against Gray Maynard in 2011, but somehow he found a way to survive and come back. Edgar pulled back in his first title fight against Maynard but then delivered a stunning fourth-round knockout in their next encounter.
“This is how you are remembered,” Edgar said of those epic wars. “It’s going to be wild because I started wrestling when I was 13 and I’ve been chasing glory ever since. For such reasons.”
Just over a year after he last faced Maynard, Edgar left the division entirely to focus on featherweight and then eventually bantamweight, where his career will end on Saturday.
Almost always short and strong, Edgar continued to find a way to win regardless of weight class or opponent. Besides winning the title, Edgar hopes that this is what people will remember most about him when his fighting days are over.
“When [people] I look back on my career and it looks like this guy fought everyone,” Edgar said. “Coming into the sport, I didn’t plan to fight in three different weight classes, but just because of the nature of the game, and when I first got into it, [155 pounds] was the only weight class I could fight in. I ended up there by default. This is just a real martial arts master.
“I think the sport really got on the map thanks to Royce Gracie, the little guy who comes in there and beats the bigger guys. Being versatile and being able to fight and win in three different classes is sort of a throwback to that.”
Considering everything he has done in his career, Edgar looks set to be a castle inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame one day in the near future. He said that was not the reason he got into the sport, though he certainly wouldn’t complain about the nod if the UFC awarded it to him.
“I invested a lot in it,” Edgar said. “In every fight in which I participated, I laid out to the fullest. Whether it’s training or fighting. You watch any of my fights, you know that I am ready to give everything in my power to win.
“To be recognized for this, I think yes, this is definitely something I’m looking forward to. Otherwise, why did I care so much about success?”